For the past few weeks I have had the honor to represent the South Florida Center for Mindfulness at two outings and have met up with so many interesting people with amazing questions.
At the East Coast Alliance conference and trade show I had the opportunity to work side by side with Sharon. For me, it is a joy to watch her speak so passionately about Mindfulness and the MBSR program. Sharon inspires me every day to pursue a more balanced inner peace through Mindfulness. She teaches me so many amazing things about life and living, in addition to all the cool things she knows about neuroscience and the brain.
The second event was offered to us on short notice from our friends at Blue Sol Yoga in Weston. Natalie, the studio director contacted me and asked if the center wanted to set up a table at their open house last weekend. We were honored and humbled by their offer and couldn't miss the opportunity.
This was a great opportunity to share information about our programs in the Weston area. For this event, I was joined by Libby Andress, our MTT (Mindful Tools for Teens) instructor. It was a very nice, casual event where we met many people and the interest in our programs was very exciting. Libby did a great job and it is a pleasure to watch her speak about Mindfulness and how applying the techniques to adolescents can be amazingly beneficial. Adolescence is such a tough time and with Libby’s experience and extended training in Mindfulness though Mindful Kids Miami with Valerie York-Zimmerman, she is extremely knowledgeable in applying a Mindfulness practice to children of all ages as well as adults.
I am so fortunate to have met up with Sharon and Libby. I am honored and proud to be participating and helping them to grow Mindfulness in South Florida. I'm so excited to see our futures unfold with such a quality team of people.
I would like to take this opportunity to introduce two additional team members who will be regular contributors to our blog: Libby Andress and Joe Hood.
Libby is the director of our child and adolescent programs. We are very proud to have her on our staff, not only because of her years of experience counseling children, adolescents, and adults, but because of her passion for mindfulness. Please see more about her credentials under Our Instructors.
The second member is Joe Hood, our Director of Outreach Services. Joe is an MBSR graduate who has quickly become a valuable team member. Working in the manufacturing industry as a business manager, he brings many general business and marketing experiences to the center. With his deep passion for Mindfulness and its benefits, Joe is committed to growing the center and helping the team educate the community on the benefits of Mindfulness to those willing to embrace it. In addition to maintaining a daily meditation practice, Joe is an avid runner who practices yoga regularly.
This is a picture of a very excited me with JKZ, taken in 2012 when I attended the MBSR in Mind-Body Medicine training. One of the many things I learned from that training was something he said to our class, "Bloom where you are planted".
He was referring to all of us who desire to teach mindfulness. We come from all walks of life, including the fields of medicine, psychology, business, psychiatry, rehabilitation, and education. The list is endless! We can bring mindfulness to virtually every walk of life, and he was recommending we spread mindfulness in our own areas of expertise.
For me, these areas include the fields of psychology and physical fitness. Over the past 15 years, I've treated individuals with food related issues, incorporating a 3-pronged approach that includes diet, exercise and cognitive behavioral therapy. How exciting to find that I could incorporate mindfulness into my treatment approach. In the area of compulsive overeating, it is so important to help people to eat mindfully; slowing down to appreciate every tasty morsel. I also believe that aspects of mindfulness-based relapse prevention, where we can learn to ride the waves of our cravings, can be so helpful for people who overeat emotionally.
Last week, I spoke at ECA, an international fitness convention, on "Mindless Eating: Are We Addicted to Certlain Foods?" I spoke to a group of about 45 fitness instructors and personal trainers. Although I've spoken about food addiction in the past, adding the mindfulness component very much enhanced the presentation, and those fitness professionals were truly open to recommend meditation to their clients who struggle with compulsive overeating. How rewarding it was for me to share this nonjudgmental approach to this group of people! I am grateful for the ability to combine my passions for mindfulness, psychology and fitness. Thank you for your support. I feel the South Florida Center for Mindfulness is getting ready to bloom!